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New Fees for Americans Traveling to the European Union

American traveler in Europe
Allianz - American traveler in Europe

Starting in 2025, you’ll be charged to enter European borders. Under the new European Travel and Information Authorization system, the United States and 59 other visa-exempt nations will be required to register online and pay a small fee before visiting countries in the Schengen zone, which includes the European Union and four non-EU counties: Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

Similar to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization in the United States, which requires a payment of $21, the purpose of the ETIAS is to improve security and border protection.

Fortunately, the ETIAS isn’t as expensive or onerous as obtaining a visa – it can be done online and takes about 20 minutes to complete, and costs €7 or a little over $7 USD. In most cases, approval is given within minutes and emailed to you. In exceptional instances, approval could take up a month and denials would be eligible for appeal, according to a memo issued by the EU. You’ll need to be sure your passport is still valid for at least three months from the date of your planned arrival in Europe before logging onto ETIAS.

Currently, Americans and other third-party nationals can’t stay in the EU for more than 90 days within every 180-day period, that will still apply under ETIAS. But the authorization is valid for an unlimited number of entries over three years.

Here’s what you need to apply:

  • Name and surname
  • Nationality
  • Date, place, and country of birth
  • Current address
  • Contact phone number
  • Email address
  • Passport number
  • Passport issue/expiry date

Keep in mind that the ETIAS will not permit you to be employed or study in the Schengen Zone, which requires work and travel visas, respectively, from member states. A visa is also required if you plan to stay in Europe for longer periods than permitted by the ETIAS. Applicants are required to apply in person from an embassy or consulate of the country they wish to visit in the United States.

If you plan on applying for a Europe visa, be prepared to provide the following:

(You are required to submit the application at least 15 working days before the date you intend to enter Europe.)

  • A completed Schengen Europe visa application form
  • Copies of any previously issued Schengen visas
  • A valid US passport containing at least 2 blank pages
  • Any accommodation bookings you have made for your stay
  • Round trip flight tickets, or tickets to an onward destination
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the stay in Europe
  • Travel insurance that covers medical care in the Schengen Area. Get a quote today to find out how Allianz Global Assistance can cover you in the event of a medical emergency.
  • A recent, passport-sized, photo of yourself, taken against a white background

While only visa-length stays require Schengen Zone visitors to purchase travel insurance, it’s a good idea to purchase a policy no matter where you go.

Tourists often assume factors such as favorable political climates, and more extensive access to world-class medical facilities, mean that travel insurance isn’t a necessity for sightseeing in Europe. But in a world of even greater unknowns, newly opened following a worldwide pandemic, travel insurance is a must. And it’s important to know that many domestic health insurance policies will not cover you abroad. When traveling abroad, travel insurance can help you fill gaps in your domestic health insurance. Allianz Global Assistance offers benefits for a range of budgets, some of which are critical in emergency situations. We provide medically necessary transportation to the nearest healthcare facility, and emergency medical benefits for losses due to covered emergencies. We can also help with travel snags that aren’t health-related trip cancellation benefits can reimburse your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if your trip is canceled or interrupted due to a covered reason.

Our Allyz® TravelSmart mobile app can assist with health needs such providing the locations of medical facilities and the best way to get to them. Don’t know 9-1-1 in Lisbon? No worries, international emergency numbers are easily accessed in the app. The Allyz TravelSmart app also provides translations in 18 languages for popular prescriptions and first aid items, and 24/7 access to on-call travel experts who can help get emergency claims started. And with just a couple thumb swipes, you can file and check the status of claims. 

Get a quote to find out how Allianz Travel Insurance can help make your European get-away blissfully stress free.

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